Business Magazine - January 2023

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Join us in celebrating all the women who
business world in the
Magazine. In this special issue, we’ll
women in the workplace by showcasing our members’
teams and the many women-owned and women-led organizations
MARCH 2023 Women in Leadership Ad Space Deadline: MONDAY, JANUARY 30 Ad Files Deadline: FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 10 \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ Advertising Options A great way to let the business community know about your company! Includes: 500-650 words of copy, 2-3 high resolution photos, company logo and contact information Profile Space Reservation Due: MONDAY, JANUARY 23 Profile Materials Due: MONDAY, JANUARY 30 Company Profile Professional Communications Messaging Service, Inc. (PCMSI) leader in the telephone answering service industry. Utilizing state-of-theart computer systems and highly trained and courteous live operators, PCMSI is here to answer the call. The company’s professional and personalized answering and messaging services are custom designed to build and maintain long-term partnerships. Established and headquartered in Erie, PA, PCMSI has grown to offer full spectrum of customized answering, messaging and professional communication services. From online appointment scheduling, order taking and emergency dispatching to lead capture, employee call-off lines, event registration and much more, PCMSI’s technology-based concise messages will be relayed through a variety of delivery platforms customized for each individual or business. For nearly decade, PCMSI has thrived under the leadership of Debra Uht despite the sluggish U.S. economy. “There were challenging times for the company that forced us to look at our operations from top to bottom, and we did.” “PCMSI made significant investment in its infrastructure including an upgraded computer system and new operator stations. We introduced new services to better service our customers, and we made changes that enabled us to become more competitive on national and international practices, updated personnel policies and training procedures and secure messaging,” continues Uht. “While technology ever evolving, one thing that will never change our commitment to provide personalized and custom service while meeting our customers’ needs and exceeding their expectations.” All of the highly skilled and competent telephone answering service operators are based at the call center located in Erie; however, substantial portion of PCMSI’s customers come from across the United States. Industries served include health care/medical, service professions, small compliance with today’s privacy laws and for handling sensitive personal and private information, PCMSI bonded and HIPAA trained and certified. Further, PCMSI very proud of its BBB AAA rating. employees including operators and an experienced management and sales team. Many employees have been with PCMSI more than 20 years. PCMSI offers generous benefit package that includes paid training program, health insurance, matching 401(k) and paid vacation. Uht is proud to employ several of her own family members including her daughters Lauren and Christine. Lauren oversees the hiring and needed, and Christine works during college breaks. Uht’s brother, David Zatkiewicz, joined Team PCMSI over year ago to lead the IT Department. Uht is grateful to have their support along with encouragement and guidance from her husband, Raymond Spurgeon. She also credits her faith for guiding her through the ups and downs of life while making her the woman she today. as community leaders, decision makers and business owners,” Uht says. believe women in business bring an intuition, a focus and level of empathy that enables us to lead and succeed.” Contact PCMSI today to discuss an affordable answering service plan customized for your business. PCMSI: Answering the Call COMPANY PROFILE Messaging Service, Inc. (PCMSI) 105 Poplar Street Erie, PA 16507 Toll free: 888.776.2661 Debra Uht (standing) is the president of 21 ADVERTISING CONTACTS: Chris Peterson • Frank Mehler • 814/833-3200 • 800/815-2660 Full-Page Ad $1,300 Half-Page Ad $790 Quarter-Page Ad Business Card Ad $210 That It s D CONFID In the event of a major loss, your insurance policy could be your most important asset. it comes to insurance…we feel we finally have a company which actually analyzes every year what we need…versus one that just rubber stamps an updated old policy and wants us to play golf.” Jay Baker, President Jamestown Plastics, Inc. Industrial & Institutional Property, Liability & Workers’ Compensation Insurance Agents 123 West 9 Street Erie, PA 16501 814-452-3200 e Lloyd’s London Correspondents and Correspondent Brokers Worldwide The right choice for generations... Easy Pre-planning Free Assistance Leaders In Quality And Service Since 1876 Four April 24, 3-5pm at Wendel August Forge- Grove City June 28, 3-5pm at Presque Isle State Park- Erie For more information: Sarah Brooks at Upcoming Chapter Events/Tours: Done R ght CONFIDENCE In the event of a major loss, your insurance policy could be your most important asset. “When it comes to insurance…we feel we finally have a company which actually analyzes every year what we need…versus one that just rubber stamps an updated old policy and wants us to play golf.” Jay Baker, President Jamestown Plastics, Inc. Commercial Industrial & Institutional Property, Liability & Workers’ Compensation Insurance Agents th Street Erie, PA 16501 814- - -mail: Lloyd’s London Correspondents and Correspondent Brokers Worldwide The B o mst ne ” The right choice for generations... Easy Pre-planning Free Assistance Supervisor 814-454-4551 Leaders In Quality And Service Since 1876 Four Locations April 24, 3-5pm at Wendel August Forge- Grove City June 28, 3-5pm at Presque Isle State Park- Erie For more information: Sarah Brooks at Upcoming Chapter Events/Tours: 29 APRIL 2018 $1,400 military industries. AirBorn designed Voyager probes, modules, shuttles and Mars to company engineering, manufacturing and testing specialized components for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) geophysical, industrial, instrumentation, marine, medical, military/defense and exploration. AirBorn’s employees distinct “pridemaking company operation from initial consultations product shipment. engineering, product management, manufacturing and sales teams products services, and time. Products offers wide of products and services, including connectors, cable assemblies, flexible circuit engineered power supplies, high-level mechanical assemblies. the world for its specialized models fit virtually design requirement. company catalog products and design-to-order, build-to-order unique specifications. Design & Manufacturing With than 60 degreed engineers employed companies will find in electronics manufacturing today. you’re looking partner help design high-quality solution from the simplest of you happen. designs tooling (including stamping tools, molding tools and that the complete Customers leverage its design and manufacturing expertise throughout product development because AirBorn all completely house. conceptual design, prototyping, pilot-runs through to production, AirBorn’s teams will get your product elegantly and ahead of the competition. AirBorn committed to expanding capabilities beyond signature value-added services include PCB design and assembly (including flexible supply manufacturing, complete qualification and testing for not only products design concepts. The company equipped to deliver the highest quality product each and Whether the final solution involves box-build, partnering total-quality package. The looks its integrate supply AirBorn’s; together, AirBorn and its customers any production Why Customers Choose AirBorn history strength design and manufacturing both standard and custom roof, AirBorn eliminates costly mark-ups associated multiple sourcing partners, shortening lead-times and saving customers AirBorn products trusted in demanding steadfast reliability mission critical. When superior design and durability essential for complete products 60 Interconnecting Expertise, Complete Electronics Design and Manufacturing Services in One Location COMPANY PROFILE Jennifer Nelson is the director of Supply Chain and Operations at AirBorn. AirBorn City, 9 OCTOBER 2017 Mary Winters wakes up every morning with mission in mind — to match caring volunteers case manager with the Independent Living Program at Family Services of NW PA, Mary worked with young people who had spent time in foster care or other out of home placement. “My job was to help these youth build skills to become successful and live independently as they aged out of placement,” says Mary. She could see, however, for those lacking supportive relationships in their lives, focusing on skill building just wasn’t enough. When the program launched new mentoring initiative nearly a year ago, Mary jumped at the chance to get involved as a Mentoring Specialist. Mary works alongside fellow Mentoring Services. Mary and Brenda were instrumental in launching North Star Mentoring nearly year ago, with support from the Mentoring Partnership of Southwestern Pennsylvania. “They helped us create policies and procedures, offered technical support, and provided us with tools to effectively train new mentors,” says Brenda. “They really helped us to create the framework for North mentoring programs. “Because the youth are a bit older and are often just out on their own, they really want to have mentor in their lives,” says Mary. “That eagerness to pursue this additional support really helps to strengthen the relationship from the beginning.” Many youth involved in programs, such as ECILP, become accustomed to being surrounded by paid professionals. North Star Mentoring offers those individuals an opportunity to spend time with someone who is there simply because they care and want to help make difference. “That was a real eye-opener for many of the kids who were matched with mentor,” says Brenda. “They were surprised to find that people were willing to volunteer just to spend time with them.” Mentors have also found the experience to mentor is gaining a deeper understanding of how difficult can be to overcome certain obstacles that may be out of your control,” says Molly Fritts, one of the first volunteers trained and matched through North Star Mentoring. really enjoy being able to be someone that can be there to support my mentee as positive impact and help her be So what would Molly tell someone who was thinking about becoming mentor? would tell them that it’s worth it,” says Molly. “It’s worth the time and the effort. It’s worth taking the chance on total stranger and letting develop into positive force in their mentee’s North Star Mentoring helps youth, ages 14-21, in the Erie County Independent Living Program (ECILP) make permanent connections with positive adult role models. ECILP is collaboration of the Erie County Office of Children and Youth, Bethesda Lutheran Services, and Family Services people who are surrounded by caring adults are more likely to thrive in all areas of their lives. Spending just a few hours each month with caring adult can really make a difference. Becoming mentor easier than most people think. Volunteers must be at least 24 years old, commit to being matched for at least one year, spend at least four hours with their mentee each month, and attend professional trainings prior to being matched. Trained Mentoring Specialists also provide ongoing support. To learn more, visit North Star Mentoring Connects Youth With Positive Role Models COMPANY PROFILE North Star Mentoring Mary Winters Family Services of NW PA 349 West 18th Street 240 West 11th Street, Suite 402 Erie, PA 16502 Erie, PA 16501 Phone: 814/724-7510, Ext. 427 Phone: 814/636-9244 NORTH STAR MENTORING of Erie County Independent Living Progra 19 M acDo Illi g ATTORNEYS MacDonald Illig. The bench-strengh to deliver. Representing Fortune 500 corporations, small businesses, public entities, nonpro t organizations, families and individuals, the attorneys of MacDonald Illig have the experience and depth to e ectively and e ciently handle all of your legal needs. From complex litigation to important business transactions, we partner with you to deliver strategic results. WOMEN LEADING THE WAY. 100 State Street, Suite 700 Erie, PA 16507 (814) 870-7600 WOMEN IN BUSINESS “My advice for women in business today would be to define success on your own terms, achieve by your own rules and build a life you’re proud to live. there something you really want to do, believe in yourself and keep moving forward because success will come. And lastly, pay forward and help Chief Financial Officer that had what takes to have such an exciting and successful career in banking. have always felt like have a voice here. Hard work pays off. Management recognized my potential and believed in me. And, throughout the years have had a steady upward career path.” Lisa Lopez Senior Vice President of Deposit Operations “Banking is an industry that has traditionally recognized women. feel extremely fortunate to have built a career at Marquette, where my contributions are both recognized and valued. The fact that my career has provided an opportunity to help make our community a better place has been very rewarding.” Kelly Montefiori Chief Operating Officer As a small business owner, you don’t have time to wonder whether your business banking strategies are all working together properly. But we do. With Northwest 360, our team becomes an extension of yours. So your business gets smarter—and your focus stays where it belongs. That’s how we’re increasing the value of you Learn more about Northwest 360 at WE TAKE A 36 -DEGREE VIEW OF YOUR BUSINESS—SO YOU CAN KEEP RUNNING IT. Bank Borrow Invest Insure Plan 16 offices to serve you in Erie County Celebrating Northwest Women in Business! Leah Manino Vice President Anita Kuchcinski Commercial Lender Katie Ruffa Commercial Lender Jackie Ksenich Business Banker Jen Stewart Cash Management Advisor Michele Cavalier Corporate Senior Vice President Senior Trust Executivevestment and wealth management, insurance services and employee benefits plans. Trust, fiduciary and retirement services are offered through Northwest Bank’s Trust Department. Only deposit products offered by Northwest ADOP218-ERIE Business Magazine April 2019 FINAL.indd MAY 21ST, 2019 2 MAY 21ST, 2019 2 SafeNet provides free and confidential services to vict ms of dome tic v o ence nc uding 24/7 Hotline Service Emergency Shelter Counseling and Advocacy Legal Representation Transitional Housing Education and Training Programs for Children Thank you fo not g v ng up on me "I am a strong, confident, and happy person." "Reclaim your life" Le r mo e a a ene e e o g o c 814 4 5-1774 4 7 c s o n 814 455-8 61 Erie, PA 16503 2014 Roar on the Shore Non-profit Beneficiary A ministry of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Northwestern Pennsylvania 14 JULY 2019 BUSINESS MAGAZINE VOL. XXXIII NO. IMPACT 2020 WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP: ERIE INSURANCE REPRESENTATIVE DISCUSSES IMPACT OF FOSTERING MOTIVATION, TEAM BUILDING AND TALENT ATTORNEY ADDRESSES BUSINESS MAGAZINE CELEBRATING 150 YEARS OF SARAH A. REED CHILDREN’S CENTER AND SENIOR LIVING BUSINESS MAGAZINE VOL. XXXV NO. 4 APRIL 2022 United Way of Erie County SPOTLIGHT Q&A: SARAH A. REED CHILDREN’S CENTER CEO TALKS IMPACT OF DEI SPECIAL SECTION: MBA TRAININGCELEBRATES GRADUATES LEADING THE WAY TWO OF THE REGION’S MOST INFLUENTIAL NONPROFITS EMBRACE NEW ERA OF LEADERSHIP, COLLABORATION WomenSpecialIssue: inLeadership PLUS: This special issue also will be distributed at our annual Women in Leadership IMPACT Luncheon on March 23 in Erie! Register at! The role of women in top management and leadership positions has evolved. Today, women leaders have become rock stars, especially in areas of business, education and entrepreneurship — a vital part of the economy. PRESENTED BY: REGISTER TODAY AT MBAUSA.ORG OR 814/833-3200 JoinusfortheMBA’sWomeninLeadershipIMPACTLuncheononMarch23whenguest speaker Kathleen Getz, Ph.D. the 13th president of Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pennsylvania,sharesherjourneyandexperiencesasawomanleaderandthegoalsfor her new role. Prior to taking the helm at Mercyhurst, Getz was the dean at the Sellinger School of Business and Management at Loyola University Maryland, dean at the Quinlan School atofBusinessatLoyolaUniversityChicago,andseniorassociatedeanforAcademicAffairs thetheKogodSchoolofBusinessatAmericanUniversity.Sheearnedherdoctoratefrom andUniversityofPittsburgh,masterofbusinessadministrationfromGannonUniversity bachelor’s degree from the Pennsylvania State University. 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have an impact on today’s
March 2023 edition of the MBA Business
accomplishments of
in the

The Right Experience. The Right People.

At Marquette, it’s not just about our leadership and expertise in banking. It’s also about our experience in helping hardworking families, growing local businesses, and reinvesting in our communities. Because when it’s your hometown, those things matter more.

Marquette’s executive team, from front: John Dill, chief executive officer; Julie Wilson, chief financial officer; Kelly Montefiori, chief operating officer; and Matt Zonno, chief lending officer.



Executive Editor Karen Torres



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On the Cover: Learn the secrets to long-term success from some of the MBA member that marking milestone years in 2023. For full story, see page 4. 16 17 20 21 FEATURES WHAT’S INSIDE | FEATURED STORY 3 Special Section New year and new milestones: Why longlived companies deserve recognition. COVER STORY | LOCAL PROFILE 4 Longevity & Leadership Area companies share secrets to long-term success. COMPANY PROFILES | SUCCESS 10 Buseck, Barger, Bleil & Co. 11 ECONSTEEL 13 Erie Industrial Supply 14 Munot Plastics 15 Strategy Solutions SPOTLIGHT Q&A | OUTLOOK 7 Brothers Bruce and Scott Kern, of Curtze Food Service in Erie, Pennsylvania, share their thoughts on business longevity and the significance of the family owned “food distributor of choice” marking its 145th anniversary in 2023. EDITORIAL LEGAL BRIEF | STRATEGY 9 How long-lasting organizations prosper through careful planning.  Thomas Pendleton ON THE HILL | CALL TO ACTION 19 Why it is time to get involved with the Manufacturer & Business Association’s State Political Action Committee (MBA-PAC).  Jezree Friend SPECIAL SECTION | MILESTONE ANNIVERSARIES 22 Congratulations! The MBA recognizes the many member companies celebrating milestone anniversaries in 2023.  Longevity & Leadership Area Companies Share Secrets to Long-Term Success BUSINESS MAGAZINE SPECIAL SECTION: MILESTONE ANNIVERSARIES SPOTLIGHT Q&A: CURTZE FOOD SERVICE OWNERS 1 JANUARY 2023
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Each year, the Manufacturer & Business Association (MBA) celebrates the milestone anniversaries of member companies across the region. It’s a great accomplishment to mark such business longevity, but it also means so much more. Many of these companies have navigated unchartered territory and seized opportunities with an eye toward the future that has enabled them to proser for the long haul.

Vicki TenHaken, a professor of management at Hope College, in Holland, Michigan, extensively studied such companies several years ago, shedding light on the key characteristics that stand the test of time.

According to her research, there are five characteristics shared by long-lived companies that seem to stand out:

1. Older businesses have a strong sense of corporate identity. These companies are very intentional about expressing what their business is, what their values are, and in sharing that with customers and suppliers. They’re very intentional about educating employees about it.”

2. They’re conservative in financing and tend to have low debt. They’re often highly profitable, channeling earnings into savings — and can make it through the tough times.

3. They seem to manage change better than most and think it’s important to honor the past. Most changes are continuous, small, incremental improvements. When they must change, they spend a long time planning for it.

4. They tend to have homegrown management and emphasize staff development from within. Leaders have some outside experience, but are with the company for a long time before they take over. They’re very deliberate about identifying successors.

5. Long-lived companies see longterm relationships — with customers, suppliers, employees, the community — as very significant. They would never leave their hometown for something such as a tax break.

In this issue of the MBA Business Magazine, we’ll take a look at such characteristics, including leadership

and how it factors into business longevity overall as we hear from five member companies that are marking milestone anniversaries in 2023.

We’ll also hear from brothers Bruce and Scott Kern of Curtze Food Service on what 145 years in business means to them and what’s ahead for their company in the near term.

Plus, we’ll showcase the hundreds of MBA member companies marking milestone anniversaries this year. Their recognition is well deserved, so please join us in celebrating their achievements and their many contributions to the industries they serve and to the communities in which they operate! Congratulations!


3 JANUARY 2023

Longevity & Leadership

Area Companies Share Secrets to Long-Term Success

Walt Disney once said, “If you can dream it, you can do it.”

It’s a vision statement that many business owners embrace, hoping to achieve long-term success.

However, as statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show, longevity is certainly not an easy task given that roughly 20 percent of small businesses fail within their first year of opening. At the five-year mark, approximately half of companies go out of business while only about 30 percent make it to 10 years or more.

that we have withstood the test of time,” she says. “We have been able to keep up with technology and ever-changing markets and continued to bring the best service possible to our clients.”

Knowledge and Customer Service


So how does a company stand the test of time? Experts believe that leadership and longevity often go hand in hand. The way a company is run — along with continued investment and innovation, among other key factors — has a big impact on its long-term success. In fact, the MBA Business Magazine recently spoke with several business owners about how they’ve approached their businesses and what they are most proud of as their operations mark milestone anniversaries in 2023.

Dedicated Professionals

At Buseck, Barger, Bleil & Co., an accounting, auditing, tax services and consulting firm founded in Erie in 1948, the secret to its longevity is largely due to dedicated professionals working to move the firm forward from one generation to the next. “Partner and employee longevity has really been a key to our long-term success,” explains Elizabeth Sturgeon, CPA. “The current partners, myself included, started at the firm as staff accountants fresh out of college.”

Today, that leadership has been even more critical to navigating a challenging business environment and retaining top talent. “Our leadership approach is really about giving our employees a good life/ work balance, which we feel keeps our employee retention high,” Sturgeon explains.

As Buseck, Barger, Bleil & Co. marks its 75th year, Sturgeon acknowledges that the key to the firm’s future has been staying ahead of the curve. “We are really proud of the fact

For ECONSTEEL (Erie Concrete & Steel Supply), John McCain, the fourth generation of the McCain family to manage the company, says that industry knowledge and customer service have driven the firm since its founding in 1913, when it was formed to complete general construction and concrete foundation work. “The key to our long-term success is a result of industry knowledge and customer service. We have over a century worth of expertise and relationships to act as a larger player in the industry, and pride ourselves on exceptional customer service at all levels,” he says.

Today, as a steel service center with headquarters in Erie and additional office location in Warren, Ohio, ECONSTEEL’s leadership team has focused on creating and maintaining an environment for its employees to grow into their careers and the organization. “We have a small team, and every single member plays a big role in our successes day in and day out,” McCain says.

As the company marks another milestone year in business, McCain adds, “I am most proud to be a longstanding partner to so many local and national businesses and seeing their successes. As a 110-year-old company, we are very proud to look back at our history and build on this framework, but also continue to look forward and innovate to better serve our customers. Our customers’ success is our success.”

Positive Work Environment

A positive work environment combined with a customer-centric approach to business has certainly helped operations, such as Erie Industrial Supply Co. in Erie, achieve long-term success. The company has been providing high quality industrial products — powder and paint spray equipment, manufacturing, machinery, cutting and grinding fluids, carbide and ceramic cutting tools, and any general supply products — since 1943.

For a full list of MBA members that are celebrating milestone anniversaries in 2023, see page 22.

Barger, Bleil & Co. is marking its 75th anniversary in 2023. ECONSTEEL (Erie Concrete & Steel Supply) is 110 years old.
4 JANUARY 2023 •

According to Erie Industrial Supply Chief Executive Officer Vicki Boorum, longevity means creating a work environment that yields long-term employment which develops experienced employees to manage its customers’ ever-changing supply-chain needs.

“We strive to make sure our customers see us as partners in their success,” she says. Erie Industrial Supply also has a unique perspective, according to Boorum. “As we are an employee-owned company, we keep our employees involved in all of our operations with regular informational meetings to keep each employee abreast of all aspects of our operations (for example, sales, profits and overall issues related to the company’s performance),” she says.

All in all, Erie Industrial Supply is proud to be an important supplier to the Erie region of industrial supplies for 80 years. “Most of our customers are long-term customers that have relied on us for many years, and we have many great employees past and present,” Boorum says.

Hard Work and Investment

At family owned and operated Munot Plastics, the Erie-based company has been providing thermoformed packaging to businesses worldwide since it was founded in 1963.

Darcy Rees, chief financial officer and general manager, says Munot’s approach to leadership and business longevity is straightforward: “We don’t quit!”

Rees also credits hard work, evolving with technology and grit. “Chandler Rees, founder of Munot, was a very hard worker. His hard work and ethics were instilled in Chris (his son and Darcy’s husband). That hard work founded Munot Plastics and kept it in business until he passed,” she says.

When Chandler Rees passed away in 2015, Chris took the business over and continued to invest and innovate. “Chris and I made a lot of changes, a lot of improvements, a lot of upgrades and we have seen our company more than double in size, both in revenue and employees,” Darcy Rees explains.

As a family owned and operated business, Chris and Darcy Rees are very active in the day-to-day production and decisions

that keep the company progressing. “We treat our employees as family. We work with our employees in every aspect of the business,” she explains.

Today, Rees says she is most proud that Munot is now a third-generation business (the couple’s sons are now involved in the business) that is growing as it marks its 60th year. “We have more than doubled in size over the past four years. We are introducing new technology and machinery to improve our processes and make it a safe environment for our employees,” she says.

Unwavering Commitment

As a matter of fact, helping other businesses grow and thrive is the goal of Strategy Solutions, Inc., a business management consultant in Erie. The firm has been providing strategic planning, market research and project management services since 1998.

“Our unwavering commitment to our clients and their success has been the key to our longevity, driven by our knowledge of business best practices and willingness to take a ‘capacity building’ approach,” says President Debra Thompson, MBA. “This includes teaching and coaching our clients how to do the things that they hired us to do, so they don’t continue to need us.”

Thompson says Strategy Solutions’ highly collaborative approach to leadership enables its team members to connect their personal calling to its cause. “Our mission to ‘create healthier communities,’ provides the vehicle through which our staff and consultants can be ‘intrapreneurs,’ bringing their personal passion and commitment to support client success through their specific areas of expertise.”

When it comes to the firm’s 25th anniversary, “we are honored to have had our ‘fingerprints’ be a part of the remarkable successes that our clients have achieved.”

Among these accomplishments: a new product line for Advanced Finishing in Fairview; new market positioning

and website for Decontamination Specialty Equipment in Erie; new market positioning and business process improvement for MPE Machine Tool in Corry; the first ever “gap analysis” in the state of PA looking at the disconnect between employer needs and training offerings that set the stage for early best practices in manufacturing industry partnerships; a new ExpERIEnce Children’s Museum; and, the list goes on.

“On a more personal level,” Thompson adds, “we are proud that as a woman owned business we are still around after 25 years.”

“It hasn’t always been easy; we have a lot of tenacity and have reinvented our business model several times over the years,” Thompson continues. “But we are mission driven and strive to treat every client as if they were our only one.”

It’s one of the many reasons that companies like these have achieved long-term success.

Erie Industrial Supply is celebrating its 80th year of continuous operation. The family owned and operated Munot Plastics is marking its 60th anniversary. Strategy Solutions is celebrating its 25th year in business.
5 JANUARY 2023
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Curtze Food Service Owners Reflect on 145th Year

Long-term business success requires a lot more than luck. In fact, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), around 66 percent of all new businesses make it to the two-year mark, and only half of all companies survive past five years. Here, brothers Bruce and Scott Kern of Curtze Food Service in Erie, Pennsylvania, share their thoughts on business longevity and the significance of the family owned “food distributor of choice” marking its 145th anniversary in 2023.

Curtze Food Service was founded by C.A. Curtze in 1878 and is now a sixth generation, family owned business, supplying fresh meats and seafood, produce, cleaning supplies and foodservice equipment. In your opinion, what sets your products apart from your competitors?

One of the key components of our company values is an absolute commitment to quality at all levels. When sourcing, our purchasing team is excellent at researching both new and existing products and procuring the finest quality regardless of the category. If we carry multiple quality levels of a particular product line, we continually monitor each one for consistency. This process is vitally important to maintain our standards and has become something our customers can count on. Additionally, we have been custom processing fresh meats and seafoods at a high level for many years, decades before our broadline competitors entered that part of the business. Our experience and expertise in these categories gives us a huge advantage over the competition. It enables us to generate the critical mass of volume needed to ensure the quality will always be there.

Tell us more about the size and scope of your operations, your team and your customers today.

We operate out of four distribution centers located in Erie, Cleveland (OH) Rochester (NY) and Bedford (PA) with over 800 people on our team. We are considered a super-regional distributor serving independent restaurants, hotels, country clubs, assisted living facilities and hospitals in nine states.

Every business has its share of ups and downs, yet successful ones seem to find ways to navigate the storms. What do you consider to be the biggest challenge for your business in the past five years and how did you respond?

Clearly the pandemic was the biggest challenge we have faced in the last 60 years.

In March 2020, we lost approximately 70 percent of our business. We did not qualify for any of the government assistance programs and were forced to lay off nearly 400 people.

During this time, we did all we could to ensure long-term care and assisted living facilities continued to receive the products they needed in the face of extraordinary supply chain problems.

As the summer of 2020 unfolded, we helped our customers with “to-go” and delivery solutions to help with their survival. By the end of the year, we were within 30 percent of our normal volume and were able to bring back all of those teammates that had been laid off and wanted to return to work. Shortage in the labor force hurt us in 2021 and much of 2022. Supply chain issues have reduced but continue to be a problem in some categories.

What are some recent opportunities that you have embraced and how have they impacted your operations?

We broadened our geographical reach when we acquired a small distributor in Bedford in 2018. We strengthened our presence in south central PA and service customers in Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia. We have also added some high-quality products designed to help our customers with labor savings and consistency.

What is your outlook for your industry / business in 2023?

The signs right now are strong. While the economy may be facing headwinds in 2023, people have shown a willingness in the past to continue to go out to eat regardless of economic conditions.

How would you define success, and what do you believe is the best advice for longterm business success?

Success is surrounding yourself with the right team to exceed the expectations of your customer. Know your values and do what it takes to build your culture around those values.

What’s next for Curtze Food Service?

We plan to continue to grow within our market and to expand our geographical reach. We will continue to focus on what brings us success — provide the best possible experience for our foodservice customers and help those customers provide the best possible dining experience for you, your family, and friends. This will allow us to ensure that personal and professional growth opportunities will be available for our team. Bon appetit!

For more information, visit

We are proud to be the NEW PITTSBURGH REGION HOME of the MBA in Cranberry Township. 20 meeting rooms, 34,000 sf of event space, in-house sustainable dining, super affordable rates. 724-741-1000 • 8 JANUARY 2023 •

Long-Lasting Organizations Prosper Through Careful Planning

ownership to a group of rising employees.

Ownership transition. This involves multi-year strategies to maximize tax efficiency. A challenge includes determining who will hold voting control of the business.

Leadership transition. The business must determine whether a family member or a non-family member is best able to lead the day-to-day operation of the business. The current leader also must find a new purpose in life to allow his or her graceful exit from the business. In addition to the top leadership position, other key positions should be identified. Develop job descriptions that can be used to recruit candidates and eventually name a successor.

Thomas Pendleton is a partner at MacDonald Illig and has been representing businesses, nonprofit corporations, and individuals in a wide variety of legal matters for more than 25 years. He concentrates his practice on business matters, including preparing agreements and commercial litigation.

As you can see from the logo below, MacDonald Illig can trace its existence back more than a century, to a partnership formed in 1897. We take pride in our firm’s history, but this longevity is not an accident. This longevity is the result of faithful clients who have remained with the firm for many years, wise investment in people and technology that are needed to provide legal services, and the willingness of people to work together to deliver those legal services.  Standing alone, however, those factors are not sufficient to provide longevity for a business. Most business organizations last about 35 years before they are dissolved or sold. Preparing to transfer an organization from one generation of owners and

leaders to the next generation is known as succession planning.

Succession planning is not a single event; instead, it is an ongoing process that can take time. It is not about damage control or replacing a key leader as quickly as possible. It is about replacing a leader with someone who is prepared for the role, with the potential to succeed, and can shift into the position quickly and successfully.

The five components of a succession plan listed below can help make a transition more successful:

A strategic plan for the business covering the next five years. What resources are available to the company and what risks will it face during this period as it implements the plan? The resources include money, people, and intellectual property. The risks include changes in customer or supplier behavior, economic risks, and employees retiring or moving.

A financial plan for the business owner. If the owner knows what his or her goals are, what assets are available to fund those goals, and what cash flows are available from the business to fund those goals, the business owner is sometimes more willing to step away from the business. That financial plan may include transferring

Governance. How will key decisions be made? Decision-making frameworks can include an advisory board, a formal board of directors or a family council.

A succession plan should be reevaluated and updated annually or as changes within the company require. Businesses may want to prepare more than one type of succession plan. An emergency succession plan is put in place when a leader needs to be replaced unexpectedly. A long-term succession plan helps the company account for anticipated changes in leadership.

Although creating a succession plan may seem daunting, there is a saying that, “Perfection is the enemy of good.” Your organization’s succession plan does not need to be perfect, but it does require the investment of time, money and effort.

The professionals at MacDonald Illig are available to provide your organization with their expertise as you prepare the foundation for your business to exist for many years to come. To learn more, visit or contact MacDonald Illig Attorneys at 814/870-7600 or

9 JANUARY 2023

Headquarters: 1640 West 8th Street  Erie, PA 16505

Phone: 814/454-6341



Providing Quality Accounting Services to the Erie Community

Buseck, Barger, Bleil & Co., Inc. has been providing quality, personalized financial guidance to individuals and businesses for 75 years. Richard Buseck started the firm as a sole owner back in 1948. A few years later, Larry Barger and John Bleil joined Richard Buseck to form Buseck, Barger & Bleil. The firm has continued to grow to include eleven employees and serve more than 1,800 clients.

Buseck, Barger & Bleil provides auditing, accounting, tax and consulting services

to governmental, nonprofit organizations, businesses and personal clients throughout northwest Pennsylvania.

The firm’s mission is to help clients maintain financial viability in the present, while taking a proactive approach to achieve future goals. This requires open communication to reach an understanding of its clients’ needs through research and sound analysis. Buseck, Barger & Bleil is dedicated to meeting these goals with high standards of excellence and professionalism. The firm has been a staple of the area’s business community for years, and prides itself on the level of esteem it has earned.

Gearing Up for The Future

With the partial retirement of John Bleil and Valerie Hartley, the current partners Elizabeth Sturgeon and Bryant Sapone are ready to continue the quality of the service Buseck, Barger & Bleil has provided for the last 75 years. They are both Erie natives and graduates of Penn State University. Both started their accounting careers after graduation with Buseck, Barger & Bleil. Their goal is to continue to grow the firm and to meet the needs of its current and future clients.

Employee Retention

The key to the firm’s success and to any business’s success is its employees. If employees are happy then productivity is higher. “We fully believe in work life balance and taking steps to ensure our employees can obtain a good balance,” says Sturgeon. “This philosophy has allowed us to retain employees for many years. We offer a combined 150 years of accounting experience. Employee retention also allows us to build long-term relationships with our clients.”

Providing Quality Service

The value the firm places on its employees has also helped it to provide top quality service to its clients. Both Sturgeon and Sapone are committed to continuing the tradition of quality service and realize the importance of constantly adapting to an ever-changing business environment.

“Along with our amazing staff we are constantly improving and implementing new technology,” adds Sturgeon. “Our client portals and paperless technology allow us to communicate and serve our clients with ease. Clients can upload and download documents, sign remotely, make payments electronically and have constant access to their files. This virtual access allows us to service clients no matter where they are located.”

Partners Bryant Sapone and Elizabeth Sturgeon are continuing the service Buseck, Barger & Bleil has provided for the last 75 years.

After 75 years, some things may change but Buseck, Barger & Bleil’s dedication to hard work and service to its client base will never change.

10 JANUARY 2023 •

Steel Service Center Marks 110th Year as Major Supplier

ECONSTEEL (formerly Erie Concrete and Steel Supply Co.) is a distribution and steel service center that has been proudly owned and operated by the McCain family since 1913. ECONSTEEL provides a full line of carbon, alloy and specialty steel products and processing services for the machining, fabrication, manufacturing and construction industries. With its own delivery fleet and two distribution centers — headquartered in Erie, Pennsylvania, and a second location in Warren, Ohio — ECONSTEEL services northwest and western Pennsylvania, eastern Ohio and western New York. With a vast network of both domestic and international steel mills and major suppliers built on a century’s worth of success, ECONSTEEL also provides steel distribution and support for businesses throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico and global export.

Built on Family Values and Customer Success

ECONSTEEL’s success is a direct result of its commitment to its customers. “At ECONSTEEL, we always go the extra mile for our customers. We’re proud to have assembled a personable and responsive sales team that encourages our customers to call them directly with any question or concern. We have over 100 years of experience in the steel industry and have built our company on honesty, integrity and all-around professionalism. ECONSTEEL has access to a vast chain of suppliers, which makes your problems easy for us to fix for you. We’re here to take make the steel buying experience something you’ll never have to stress over because ECONSTEEL is built to handle your every need,” says President Scott McCain.

“Experience, inventory, knowledge, and responsiveness are the factors that help make our customers successful and make ECONSTEEL stand above our competitors. That is what ECONSTEEL is all about — ensuring our customers have what they need when they need it and have a great experience in the process. The end result: Our company becomes your valued resource. We are very proud of the fact that some of our customers have been with us from the beginning of our 100-year history.”

Headquarters: 1301 Cranberry Street Erie, PA 16501

Phone: 814/453-4969



Commitment to Future Innovation

ECONSTEEL is fully dedicated to continuous improvement to better serve its customers and set itself up for future growth. Not only does ECONSTEEL want to continue to be a premium steel products provider, but also be a resource to share industry knowledge and expertise.

John McCain, who re-joined the family business in 2021, states: “As we approach our 110-year anniversary, its amazing to think about all of the local businesses we have supported and the people that were involved. Many of our team members have been with our organization for 20 to 50 years, which is remarkable. It is important to always acknowledge our roots, but also continue to build off of this framework. Whether we are investing in our employees, internal operations and technology, or new machinery to expand our value-added services, we want to put ourselves in a position to grow and be the best possible resource to our existing and potential customers.”

11 JANUARY 2023
Knox McLaughlin Gornall & Sennett, P.C. Erie | North East | Pittsburgh | Jamestown, NY 814-459-2800 | If you are seeking legal services, we should have a conversation about: • How we strive to achieve each client’s objectives • How we invest in our people • How we are thought leaders • How we are innovators • How our firm has grown to a diverse staff of over 90 • How we’ve been recognized nationally • How we serve our communities • How we have worldwide capacity Let’s talk. Call us at 814-459-2800. Or visit to learn more. LET’S TALK STRONG YEARS 12 JANUARY 2023 •

Erie Main Office: 2103 East 33rdStreet Erie, PA 16510

Phone: 814/452-3231


Erie Industrial Supply Proud of History, Products and Support

Erie Industrial Supply is an employee owned and operated company that is constantly striving to be the No. 1 choice for manufacturing supplies in the Erie region. Since 1943, Erie Industrial Supply has been providing quality products at competitive prices for its customers. Erie Industrial Supply offers technical service for all products and systems that it provides such as cutting tools and fluids, paint finishing equipment, vendor managed inventory (VMI) systems, and a variety of other general industrial and safety supplies. The company takes tremendous pride in providing these supplies in a timely manner and providing excellent customer service in an effort to make life easier for its clients to accomplish their manufacturing.

For 80 years, Erie Industrial Supply has been an important supplier to the Erie region of industrial supplies. “We have maintained the highest level of customer service while creating a work environment that yields long-term employment, which develops experienced employees to manage our customers ever-changing supply chain needs,” says President Phillip Miller. “We strive with each of our customers to be partners in their


successful operations. Most of our customers are long-term customers that have relied on us for many years.”

Erie Industrial Supply’s staff has extensive expertise and experience that is needed to provide excellent support to help clients with all of their manufacturing applications. Team members assist customers to determine what is going to get their manufacturing tasks done in the most efficient manner and allow them to operate at the lowest manufacturing cost for manufacturing supplies.

The Latest in Inventory Control

Erie Industrial Supply manages some of its customers manufacturing supply needs through Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI). These automated dispense systems help streamline the supply of all types of manufacturing supplies from tooling, safety equipment and MRO (maintenance, repair and operations) supplies. VMI sites are remotely viewed daily to assess current inventory levels and determine restocking requirements. All VMI systems are restocked on an as-needed basis by Erie Industrial Supply’s staff. The VMI systems help to keep on site manufacturing inventory costs low by balancing on hand inventory of manufacturing supplies to

production outputs. The VMI systems also allow customers to better track all the costs related to their manufacturing processes. Erie Industrial Supply’s Industrial Paint Finishing Equipment division supplies all aspects of industrial paint finishing equipment. The company’s trained finishing equipment sales staff can provide solutions to any finishing equipment need such as manual and automatic spray guns, spray booths, curing ovens, powder spray equipment and many other paint shop-related equipment. The company is a full warranty service repair facility for all paint equipment that it sells. Erie Industrial also provides installation and training services for all painting equipment within its product lines.

Looking Forward

Along with all of its great customers, Erie Industrial Supply attributes the company’s long-term success to all of its driven and committed employees past and present. Erie Industrial Supply has been fortunate to have many current and past employees that have been and are extremely committed to the company’s success. Erie Industrial Supply takes great pride in the company being an employeeowned business that has always been based on taking care of its customers and employees. “As we are an employeeowned company, all of our staff is closely involved in all of our day-to-day functions to make sure we provide the best industrial supply solution to our growing customer base,” adds Miller, “and we look forward to many more years of success with our customers and employees.”

13 JANUARY 2023


2935 West 17th Street  Erie, PA 16505

Phone: 814/250-7709



Third-Generation Plastics Manufacturer Continues to Grow

Munot Plastics, a company founded in 1963 in a small shop in downtown Erie, Pennsylvania, has survived the testament of time and big business. A rarity, Munot Plastics has a third generation of the Rees family entering into the business with no signs of slowing down or caving to the monopoly of big corporations. Even during the disastrous COVID pandemic, Munot Plastics thrived. They did not waver. While some of its customers did shut down, Munot was deemed an essential business and found innovative ways to keep its production running and kept its employees working. Munot Plastics worked with several different companies to produce face shields. Munot was able to tool up within a week and produced over 1 million shields in a short time frame to help with the pandemic.

Munot prides itself on its family atmosphere and low turnover rate as a medium sized generational family owned business. While It may be “small,” their capacity and ability to deliver a massive amount of thermoformed packaging in a relatively short amount of time speaks volumes to what Munot is capable of now and will be in the future.

Through hard work, tenacity and creative thinking, Munot has grown threefold in recent years and will continue to do so under the Rees family’s leadership.


Munot Plastics has the ability to handle a wide range of industries, order quantities and part sizes. This is due to its wide range of machinery. Munot Plastics owns two sheet fed single station machines that handle their smaller quantity jobs. These machines typically are used for prototyping, thick gauge sheets, and jobs below the 2,000-piece order size. Munot also owns 10 in-line thermoform machines that handle their larger quantity orders. Typically, these machines handle anything above 2,000 pieces and into the millions of pieces some of their larger customers require. Of those 10 thermoform machines, two are new state-of-the-art OMG machines and two are large Sencorp machines. All four of these machines are capable of producing tens-of-thousands of parts per hour with a maximum mold size of 34 X 36 inches.

Munot has added both of the OMG machines within the last two years, highlighting their continued growth and increasing capacity on a growing scale. Munot has also expanded the customer base they can serve. Munot Plastics became certified to ISO standards in

2016 and is actively working to become SQF Food Packaging certified with a target date of January 31, 2023. Munot Plastics has always worked at GMP standards and is heavily involved in direct-to-food-packaging, but the SQF certification will allow Munot to expand its customer base into those companies that require the certification. The company also has instituted a new ERP system, to better keep track of their growing inventory and provide a concrete paper trail to customers that require it. All and all, Munot is continually evolving and innovating while still maintaining its family atmosphere and small business feel.

One-Stop Shop

Munot has one capability that makes it stand out from the rest. The company has its own Design and Tooling department. While many other thermoforming businesses must outsource their molds and mold repairs, which leads to more expense and longer lead times, Munot is a one-stop shop. The company’s design and tooling team work one on one with customers to design a package that meets the customers’ needs esthetically, functionally and affordably. Munot plans on adding another state-of-the-art CNC and another CNC machinist in 2023 to further speed up their current lead time of customer molds.

Looking to the Future

Owners Chris and Darcy Rees are proud of the advancements that Munot has made in the last several years. They look forward to the future and have their sons follow in the family footsteps.

14 JANUARY 2023 •

Headquarters 8425 Peach Street

Erie, PA 16509

Phone: 814/480-8000 Website:

A Transformation Leader for 25 Years

As a certified WBE (Woman Business Enterprise), with a mission to create healthy communities, Strategy Solutions facilitates transformation in organizations and communities by providing research, planning, and implementation management support. The firm:

• translates vision into action by creating specific action plans that identify the human, capital and operating resources needed to achieve tangible outcomes;

• engages stakeholders through effective outreach, inquiry, and data collection, effectively summarizing data to draw conclusions;

• creates a commitment to action through consensus building, vetting concerns and conflict management;

• educates boards on effective governance and engage them to support the mission of their organizations;

• utilizes primary and secondary research to assess industry and product lifecycles and identify best practices;

• challenges clients to adapt at (or ahead of) the pace of change of industry and/or customer expectations;

• evaluates the outcomes and impacts of programs and initiatives;

• provides resource development and fundraising support; and,

• builds capacity in our client organizations through a “do-teach-coach” model.

Over the past 25 years, Strategy Solutions has facilitated:

• dozens of strategic plans and initiatives for manufacturers, small businesses, nonprofits, trade associations and collaborative groups;

• public engagement including community visioning and planning processes, metropolitan and rural transportation planning projects, land use planning, comprehensive plans, municipal consolidation and strategic plans;

• brownfield feasibility studies and redevelopment projects including

stakeholder outreach, market and workforce opportunity analysis;

• strategic and program planning for secondary and post-secondary education institutions including colleges, universities, technical schools, school districts and private schools;

• industry “pipeline” development including marketing plans and programs to guide students from high school into training programs that lead to employer career pathways;

• restructuring of local and regional economic and workforce development systems to better serve employers utilizing a “roles and players” framework and leadership consensus building;

• creation and expansion of collaborative alliances to promote and maximize joint purchasing, cost sharing and administrative consolidation without merger;

• dozens of Community Health Needs Assessments (CHNAs) across the country, including stakeholder engagement, primary and secondary data collection, facilitating commitment to problem solving and implementation;

• identification, selection and evaluation of potential uplink partners based on internal capacity assessment and gap analysis, consensus building around criteria for the “perfect partner” and evaluation of prospective partners; and,

• training, consulting and technical assistance to hospitals, health departments, health networks, community development and other “backbone organizations” to evaluate and improve their local capacity to achieve collective impact.

Strategy Solutions grew out of its founder’s work as the catalyst of the community health movement in Erie. After being the architect of a successful private-public partnership, led by the then-Manufacturer’s Association of NWPA, that became the model adopted by the Pennsylvania Department of Health for Community Health Improvement Planning Districts in the mid-1990s, Debra Thompson recognized that hospitals alone

cannot create a healthy community. It requires strong connections between private sector entities (who create wealth and provide jobs), community and government services (to educate and provide infrastructure) and an effective social service sector (which provides programs and services to help people).

With John Malone’s blessing and Hamot as a founding client, Strategy Solutions was created as a research and planning firm that would act as a capacity builder and catalyst for change for organizations, particularly those who have a “lead role” within a sector, community or region. Strategy Solutions intentionally expanded its practice into community, economic and workforce development to better understand how public sector entities support healthier communities and be better equipped to “connect the dots” and bridge the “silo-ism” that is often a barrier to growth. This cross-sector knowledge brings strategic value to the firm’s individual clients as it opens new doors helps them create connections and access resources in new and creative ways

15 JANUARY 2023


Erie Federal Credit Union (Erie FCU) officially broke ground for its newest branch in Fairview, PA. The groundbreaking ceremony took place on November 17, 2022 at 7141 West Ridge Road in Fairview, Pa 16415 (east of Coach USA | across from Holy Cross Church).

Attending the groundbreaking ceremony were Erie FCU leadership and staff, the credit union’s Board of Directors along with other officials. The Credit Union estimates that the new one-story, 1,500-square-foot branch will be open for business in the summer of 2023.

“We are thrilled to break ground in Fairview,” said Erie FCU Chief Executive Officer Brian Waugaman. “It is truly exciting to see this project being put into motion and for us to continue to strive to make a difference in our community and in the lives of our members.”

This will become the credit union’s 10th branch and first location in western Erie County. This will also be the credit union’s first new location since the adaptive reuse of the former Glenwood Elementary School and construction of its Glenwood corporate headquarters and branch on Peach Street, which opened in June 2017.

The new branch will feature banking amenities such as multiple drive-up lanes, a drive-up ATM, a warm, welcoming environment and private offices for meeting with members.

For more information, visit




A $385,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) will fund the purchase of an Instron drop tower impact-testing system at Penn State Behrend, where faculty members are developing new approaches to polymer recycling and the formulation of new composites.

At least 10 faculty members will use the system to advance their research, which includes automotive and aerospace partnerships. Another will use it to test new polymers for ski boots and bindings.

The Instron system will expand the materials research capabilities at Behrend, where grant funding and industry partnerships fueled $8.3 million in research expenditures in 2021.

“This takes us into a whole new kind of materials science,” said Greg Dillon, chair of the Polymer Engineering and Science program at Behrend and the principal investigator for the NSF grant. “It allows us to delve very deeply into fracture mechanics: how materials and structures fail under high energy.”

Drop towers are used to determine how materials break. The drop mechanism, or tup, is fired like an arrow into a plastic, metal, ceramic or gel. The Instron tup drops at a rate of 78 feet per second.

“It’s a lot like a crossbow,” said Alicyn Rhoades, the interim associate dean for research and graduate studies at Behrend. She and Dillon wrote the original application for the NSF grant.



Great Lakes Automation Services Inc. (GLASI), headquartered in McKean, Pennsylvania, marked 20 years in business in 2022.

GLASI was founded in 2002 by Mark Fatica, Ken Fisher and Bryan Brooks who acquired AMi in 2004. AMi, which was started in 1973 by Chuck Watters and Don Stevens, operated until 1996 when DT Industries acquired AMi.

In 2007, GLASi diversified and opened a Packaging and Kitting division geared toward service with military and the government. Great Lakes

Automation Services, Inc. went on to acquire Clifton Machining in 2009 to which became Great Lakes Machining.

Today, Great Lakes Automation Services Inc. an industry leader in the design, manufacture and integration of fully automated and semi-automated assembly and test equipment in the automotive, consumer, electrical, medical, defense and aerospace industries. The company is also a service disabled, veteran owned, small business.

For more information, visit

Erie Federal Credit Union officials broke ground for the Credit Union’s new branch location in Fairview, Pennsylvania this past November. John Krahe presented an anniversary plaque on behalf of the MBA to Great Lakes Automation Services Chief Executive Officer and Owner Ken Fisher (center) and Chief Executive Officer / President and Owner Mark Fatica.
16 JANUARY 2023 •




The Manufacturer & Business Association (MBA) Board of Governors announced that Lori Joint has been appointed as the organization’s president and chief executive officer, effective January 1, 2023.

MBA Board of Governors Chairman Jana Goodrich, president of Seaway Manufacturing in Erie, said the Board’s decision was unanimous.

“Lori has been a long-tenured and wellrespected senior leader at the MBA,” said Goodrich, “and we are confident that she is the right person to take the Association to the next level as we grow the MBA’s presence and

enhance the programs and services offered to our member employers in the tri-state region.”

Joint shared Goodrich’s enthusiasm for her new appointment. “I am grateful to the Board for offering me this incredible opportunity to follow in the MBA’s proud legacy of leadership. I truly believe in the mission of the MBA to help our members succeed, and I am excited about the chance to make an even bigger impact by leading this great organization and its dedicated staff.

There is a lot of hard work ahead, but I know we have the right people to do it.”

In her new role, Joint is responsible for leading a nearly 30-person staff at its Erie headquarters and new office location in Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania. She will oversee the MBA’s operations and its delivery of comprehensive services, including HR and legal support, professional development and computer training, competitive group insurance, expert

logistics services, reduced cost energy program, premium meeting space rentals, lobbying efforts, thought-provoking business news and premier networking opportunities.

Joint was named vice president of the MBA in 2014, overseeing the Marketing, Communications, Government Affairs, and Insurance Departments. She joined the Association as an intern in 1990 while attending Gannon University and was hired as a computer training instructor in 1995. She has since held various key roles at the MBA, including as Computer Training manager, account executive for the MBA Business Magazine, and as director of Government Affairs before being named vice president, and most recently as interim president and CEO.




Walter Iwanenko Jr., Ph.D., an occupational therapist and epidemiologist whose six-year tenure as Gannon University’s provost and vice president for student experience has earned him a reputation as a creative problem solver and an advocate for academic excellence, has been selected as the university’s eighth president.

The university’s Board of Trustees voted October 31 to appoint Iwanenko, 52, to succeed Keith Taylor, Ph.D., who announced in August that he will step down as president effective June 30, 2023. Iwanenko will begin his new duties on July 1, 2023.

“We are delighted to announce Dr. Iwanenko will be our next president,” said the Most. Rev. Lawrence Persico, J.C.L., Bishop of the Diocese of Erie and chairman of Gannon’s Board of Trustees. “He has contributed much to the university in his role as a vice president and provost, and we have even higher expectations for him and the university when he assumes his new role next year.”

Iwanenko’s appointment as president-elect follows a nearly six-month campus-wide process that was assisted by Academic Search.

More than 800 faculty, staff and students responded to the Leadership Transition Committee’s survey in early September. Those responses helped form the presidential profile against which Iwanenko was vetted in early October.

About 275 attended open forums with Iwanenko, and another 150 participated in interviews with him. The overwhelmingly positive feedback from those meetings informed the 13-member Committee’s recommendation to the Board of Trustees.

Tina Donikowski ’85, a Gannon trustee and chairwoman of the Leadership Search Committee,

said Iwanenko distinguished himself throughout the process. “We were fortunate to have had a succession plan in place and that Dr. Iwanenko presented himself so well,” she said. “As a committee and as a board, we were prepared to take the search nationally if that was indicated, but Dr. Iwanenko proved to us he is ready for this role.

He has the institutional knowledge, the aptitude and a commitment to both the university and to its Catholic traditions to advance Gannon’s positive momentum.”

Iwanenko worked at Hilbert and D’Youville colleges prior to joining Gannon in 2016.

MCGILL, POWER, BELL & ASSOCIATES’  ZINNA NAMED YOUNG LEADER TO WATCH  McGill, Power, Bell & Associates, LLP (MPB) recently announced that one of its partners, Matt C. Zinna, CPA, has been named a Young Leader to Watch by the Pennsylvania Institute of CPA’s (PICPA).

The PICPA annually recognizes roughly 25 of its members under the age of 40 who demonstrate an extraordinary commitment to the accounting profession through the PICPA or community service. In addition to climbing the ranks quickly at their organizations, past winners have gone on to serve as PICPA leadership, committee chairs and conference speakers.

Zinna joined MPB in 2019. He brings more than 17 years of experience in audit and attest and consulting and services to the nonprofit, higher education and governmental development industries. He is a member of the firm’s Nonprofit and Government Service Group and Quality Control committee.

Zinna also is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and

the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA). He also serves as the Treasurer on the Board of Directors of the Fairview School Foundation, a Flagship Niagara League’s Mariners’ Ball Committee Member, on the Board of Directors for Early Connections, Inc., and is a member of Hamot Health Foundation Board of Corporators.



Colleen D. Campbell is a new associate with Knox McLaughlin Gornall & Sennett, P.C.

Campbell focuses her practice in business, commercial and tax law; banking and commercial lending; nonprofit and tax-exempt entities; and community development projects. She has prior experience as a Certified Legal Intern during law school, providing counsel to nonprofit organizations on start-up and governance matters. She also served as an intern for the Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership, The Erie Community Foundation, and Knox Law.

Campbell earned her J.D. from Case Western Reserve University School of Law, where she was the managing editor of the Journal of Law, Technology, and the Internet, and participated in the Women’s Law Association. She earned a B.A. from Gettysburg College, where she was copresident of the Pre-Law Club and President of the Economic Research Club.

At Knox Law, she joins a team of 40 attorneys that has been providing quality legal services to businesses, families, public entities, and nonprofit organizations for 65 years.

17 JANUARY 2023
OFFICE SPACE FOR RENT AT 821 STATE STREET Perfect for a solo practitioner, a small firm of attorneys or other professions. Located just 2 blocks from the Courthouse beside the Warner Theater in Erie. Rent an entire floor or choose from several large offices available at below market rates. A variety of lawyers practice in the building. Use of conference room, library, and kitchen included. Off street parking, receptionist, and secretarial services are available. Call Atty. John Carlson, 814-459-8011. Celebrate the New Year at the MBA! Join us for a special MBA Open House, Friday, January 13 from 8 – 10 a.m. at the Manufacturer & Business Association Conference Center, 2171 West 38th Street, in Erie! Enjoy specialty coffees, gourmet breakfast bar, vendors, fun games and prize giveaways while learning about all the great services and benefits included with an MBA membership! RSVP at or by calling 814/833-3200 or 800/815-2660! The Erie County Bloodmobile will also be onsite for guests who would like to help kick off National Blood Donor Month! BUSINESS MAGAZINE Got great news? Share it! The Business Magazine publishes MBA member news on major appointments, mergers, grants and/or awards, as space permits. To submit your company news, email! 18 JANUARY 2023 •

Make a Difference! Join the MBA-PAC

Jezree Friend is the assistant vice president of external relations at the Manufacturer & Business Association. Contact him at 814/8333200, 800/815-2660 or

The past couple years have highlighted the influence our elected officials in Pennsylvania have on our business community. We saw many pro-business candidates loose to opponents funded by organizations that don’t have our best interests in mind. It is important the strong candidates who share our values win their primaries. Let me be clear: Good candidates and good campaigns matter.

So, if you are like many of our members, frustrated with how things turned out this past election, it is time to get involved with the Manufacturer & Business Association’s State Political Action Committee (MBAPAC). Donating to the MBA-PAC is the best way to get involved in the political process and make a difference.

Why Does the MBA Have a PAC?

Sitting on the sidelines is not an option for our members. When you contribute to the MBA-PAC, you are supporting candidates who are working to help us continue to lead the way for a pro-growth and probusiness environment in Pennsylvania.

What is the PAC’s Purpose?

We promote candidates who support the issues most important to our members. We strive for improvement by encouraging our members to take a more active part in government affairs. We assist the business community in organizing themselves for more effective political action.

What Does the PAC Do?

The MBA-PAC is bipartisan and supports candidates for public office who understand and support the issues most critical to the continued growth and success of our members. The MBA-PAC helps us to educate policy leaders on issues that are important to our industry.

Here’s why you should join our efforts. Recently, an MBA member said this, “I quit watching the news a couple years ago. The last three years showed me that no matter what we as a population want or think, the government is going to go the way of getting their pockets lined, or cave into the squeaky wheel even though the squeaky wheel is such a small population.”

We hear you and want you to know you are not alone. The MBA, through our Government Affairs team, gets legislation passed for you, our members. Two recent examples are the reduction of the Corporate Net Income Tax Rate — good for those businesses that file as C-corps — and the passage of Section 179, immediate expensing, which helps those that file as pass-throughs instead file at the individual tax rate. Both took

years and patience. It is usually a fight except for that moment when lawmakers compromise. The past several years have been extremely challenging on many fronts, but the MBA is here for you and won’t quit now.

If you have ever wondered, “Does advocacy really work? Is there a return on investment or is it just like throwing money down a rabbit hole?” you now know the answer. Yes, advocacy does work!

This all starts with getting strong candidates over the finish line on election day and helping those good lawmakers who share our values. Our goal is always to do what is in the best interest of you, our members. Your donation to the MBA-PAC allows us to support lawmakers who will champion the initiatives that support you.

The MBA has grown to become one of the strongest voices for business in western Pennsylvania. However, our success depends on the generosity of MBA members like you!

Here’s how you can help. Please make your donation online at or contact me at to learn more about both our state and federal PACs working for you.

19 JANUARY 2023


The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) recently conducted a survey of 1,200 HR professionals with the aim of understanding quiet quitting in numerous workplaces. Quiet quitting is described as employees who put no more effort into their jobs than absolutely necessary. Here are some of the survey results:

Quiet quitting is real. Fifty-one percent of human resource professionals indicated that quiet quitting was a concern, with approximately 36 percent of those surveyed saying it was actively occurring in their workplaces.

Culture is a problem. When asked why quiet quitting was happening, 60 percent of respondents whose organizations were experiencing it pointed to the post-pandemic culture. Two hypotheses were shared by these HR professionals regarding the cause of their cultural problems: diminished people management capabilities and an inability to maintain culture in a virtual environment.

Younger workers are at risk. The survey found that 72 percent of HR professionals had witnessed quiet quitting among younger workers, with hourly workers being the most likely group to exhibit behaviors associated with quiet quitting.

Additionally, 8 percent of HR professionals are witnessing quiet quitting from front-line people managers. Experts say HR practitioners should focus their efforts on this key workforce demographic, since people managers are the instrument of culture, and culture cannot survive without talented people managers.


Less than one-third of employees feel they are paid fairly, while just 34 percent of employees believe their pay is equitable, according to a recent survey by Gartner, Inc.

The survey of 3,523 employees in 2022 also found that that employees who perceive their pay as unequitable have a 15-percent lower intent to stay with their employer and are 13-percent less engaged at work than employees who perceive their pay as equitable.

“Employees’ sensitivity to perceived pay gaps is being exacerbated by today’s economic conditions, including rising inflation, and the hot labor market, which is causing a shift in compensation between tenured employees and new hires,” said Tony Guadagni, senior principal in the Gartner HR practice.

Most organizations are actively taking steps to close pay gaps; a July 2022 Gartner survey of 104 total rewards leaders found that 84 percent are conducting pay equity audits at least annually. While technical approaches are necessary, they don’t address employee perceptions.

The Trendiest Benefits for 2023 and Beyond

Employers can offer benefits to meet evolving worker needs shaped by a tight labor market and rising inflation. Benefits are more crucial than ever for attracting and retaining top performers. For 2023, employers are uniquely positioned to offer more than just a health-care plan, including holistic benefits, resources and perks that today’s workers most want.

Voluntary Benefits

Health-care costs have risen sharply over the past two decades and will likely continue to increase. Health-care affordability is top of mind for employers and employees alike. As employers search for ways to manage their health-care costs, some are considering voluntary benefits as a strategy to round off their offerings.

Secondary benefits employers are offering:

• Accident insurance

• Critical Illness

• Hospital indemnity insurance

• Disability insurance

• Life insurance

• Identify theft protection

• Pet insurance

Voluntary benefits can provide value to employees without raising an employer’s

costs, making them powerful tools for attracting and retaining top workers.

Financial Wellness Benefits

Many employees are feeling financially strained due to record-high inflation. Financial wellness benefits must go beyond only offering educational resources to be impactful. Organizations can boost their attraction to today’s workers by offering the following types of desired financial wellness benefits:

• Retirement plan options with matching contribution

• Health savings account contribution

• Flexible spending account contribution

• Financial planning assistance and coaching

• Lifestyle spending account

• Transportation benefits

• Employee discount or purchase program

• Financial reimbursements (for example, tuition or student loan repayment plans, caregiving support funds and professional development stipends)

Talk with your broker about these and other expected benefit trends for 2023. For more information, visit the MBA’s Insurance Services page at

Lori Joint

is the president and chief executive officer at the Manufacturer & Business Association. Contact her at 814/833-3200, 800/815-2660 or ljoint@

20 JANUARY 2023 •

Identifying, Retaining Key Employees Critical to Organizational Success

Identifying and retaining key employees is especially important in light of ongoing attraction and retention difficulties many employers have been facing. According to Zywave’s 2022 Attraction and Retention Survey, more than 75 percent of employers consider attraction and retention to be among their top five business challenges.

In order for organizations to continue to succeed, it is important that they are able to find and retain the best workers. These workers are those who affect performance and drive business for their employers, making them critical assets.

Key Employees Explained

Key employees are those whose skills, knowledge and excellent performance can be linked to their organizations’ overall success. Often, these employees have special proprietary knowledge, additional certifications, degrees or licenses that help their organizations function more efficiently.

Key employees may also help establish strong relationships within their organizations and with important external parties (e.g., clients). The primary takeaway is that key employees have a tangible impact on their companies and they are difficult to replace.

Identifying Key Employees

To retain key employees, employers have to know how to identify them. The traits of key employees may differ between organizations, but there are some general indicators of such workers. Specifically, these employees are known to:

• Exceed expectations — These employees consistently go above and beyond what they are expected to do.

• Enhance strategies — Such employees proactively search for ways to improve their companies’ strategies and operations without being told to do so.

• Affect performance — The presence of these employees is often connected to increased performance and their absence can have negative effects on overall results.

• Impact business relations — Losing such employees may hurt relationships with clients and vendors.

• Connect teams — These employees foster connections between various teams and help smaller team cultures blend into their companies’ larger cultures.

For more information about recruitment and retention, contact the MBA’s HR Services team at 814/833-3200, 800/815-2660 or

Stacey Bruce, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

is the director of HR Services at the Manufacturer & Business Association. Contact her at 814/833-3200, 800/815-2660 or


The reality of the current labor market is that there are more open jobs than people to fill them, and inflation is impacting employees’ pay expectations. As a result, salary budgets for American employees are projected to increase in 2023. According to the Manufacturer & Business Association’s Salary Increase Survey, companies in PA are budgeting an overall average increase of 3.6 percent for 2023, compared with the average actual 5-percent increase in 2022.

According to Willis Towers Watson’s July report, companies nationally are budgeting an overall average increase of 4.1 percent for 2023, compared with the average actual 4-percent increase in 2022. Keep in mind that these are the most significant increases since 2008. Forty-six percent of respondents said the top reason pay budgets are increasing next year is based on employee expectations for higher pay. Furthermore, data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that hourly earnings increased 5.2 percent year over year in August 2022, while average weekly earnings rose 4.6 percent. These percentages don’t account for inflation, so pay bumps likely haven’t helped workers much. While employers are exploring more competitive compensation strategies, wage raises still lag behind the current rate of inflation. :


IN 2023?

There’s no denying that employees’ needs have changed over the past few years. As such, employers can offer benefits to meet evolving worker needs shaped by lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, a tight labor market and rising inflation. Many workers are paying more attention to their benefits and wondering how to stretch their dollars further.

As health-care costs continue to skyrocket, some employers choose to pay 100 percent of employees’ monthly health-care premiums. For reference, the Kaiser Family Foundation reports the monthly average for employer contributions in 2021 was 83 percent. This type of benefit is more common in small organizations. Fully paid health plans could be a key differentiator for workers weighing their employment options.

Family-building benefits are becoming increasingly popular with employees, as they inclusively support the unique and complex ways individuals and couples build their families. Employers are also focusing on ways to support reproductive health care. Such benefits can provide employees peace of mind as employers demonstrate their emotional and financial support for employees’ decisions to build a family.

Additionally, many employers are increasingly prioritizing parental leave. According to Mercer data, 70 percent of employers are already offering or planning to offer parental leave in 2023, while 53 percent are providing or planning to provide paid adoption leave. :

21 JANUARY 2023


Liberty Welding Company Marquette Savings Bank 110 Years

Arthur F. Schultz Company

Erie Concrete & Steel Supply Company (Econsteel)

Peter Hardner & Son Inc.

Rehrig Pacific Company Steptoe & Johnson PLLC

Warren Steel Products, Inc. (The Warren Company) 105 Years

American Hollow Boring Company

Erie Civic Theatre (Erie Playhouse)

Erie Forge and Steel Inc. Marine Sheet Metal Works

Wesbury United Methodist Community 100 Years

Achievement Center

Blair Strip Steel Company

Geiger Granite Inc. (Geiger & Sons Memorials & Bldg. Stone) Kocher’s Grove City Floral, LLC 90 Years

Insurance Management Company

The J.M. Smucker Company

Thrifty Clean Inc. S.H. Bell Company

80 Years

Bessemer System Federal Credit Union

Erie Industrial Supply Company

Meyer, Unkovic & Scott LLP

Presbyterian SeniorCare Network Ricardo’s Restaurant

75 Years

Buseck, Barger, Bleil & Co. Inc.

Dale McClymonds Inc.

John Savoy & Son Inc. (Savoy Contract Furniture)

Journey To Wellness Leech Holdings, LLC

Millcreek Community Hospital

Mobile Communication Service Inc. (Mobilcom)

Murray Agency Inc. Penn State Behrend

Phillips Jewelers Inc.

Pittsburgh Cycle Center (Honda House)

R. M. Kerner Company

Scott Enterprises T. Bruce Campbell Construction Co. Inc.

Traffic Control & Engineering Co., Inc.

Warren County Conservation District

70 Years

Bradford City Water Authority

Carl Strutz & Company Inc.

Catholic Charities Counseling & Adoption

Clarion Area Chamber of Business & Industry

Gardner Steel Corporation

Glenwood Pet Hospital Inc.

Layke Tool & Mfg. Company

NaviTek Machining

NRASS Inc. (Dick Wolfes Garage)

Port Erie Plastics Inc.

Protective Industries Inc. (Caplugs) Russell C. Schmidt & Son Funeral Home

Russell’s House of Furniture, Inc. (Russell’s of Waterford)

Seneca Hardwood Lumber Co. Inc. World of Music

60 Years

Barens, Inc.

Bradys Bend Corp.

Byham’s Insurance Services Inc.

Chuck Ollinger Plumbing & Heating

Cygnus Manufacturing Co. LLC

Edinboro University Bookstore

Ernst Conservation Seeds Inc.

Jarrett Machine Company

Kuhn Tool & Die Co.

Mahla Office Equipment, Inc.

Miller Fabrication Solutions

Modern Reproductions, Inc. Morocco, Morocco, & Specht

Munot Plastics Inc.

Oral Surgery of Erie, P.C.

Pinnacle Financial Strategies, LLC

University of Pittsburgh at Titusville Vallonia Industries Inc.

WLD Ranch of the Federated Church (WLD Ranch) 50 Years

AA Precisioneering Inc.

AMO Industries, Inc.

Anderson Metal Industries Inc.

B & R Camper Sales Inc.

Barnes PSP, Inc.

Brownlee Lumber Inc.

Manufacturer & Business Association (MBA) is proud to recognize all the member organizations that are marking milestone anniversaries in 2023! Thank you for your hard work and dedication — to your industry, your team and to the communities in which you operate. Your contributions are beyond measure. The MBA wishes you all the best and continued success in the new year! Congratulations!
Travis Law Firm 175 Years The Record-Argus 150 Years
Insurance 145 Years
C. A. Curtze Co. (Curtze
Service) Wabtec 135
Times Publishing Company (Erie Times-News) 130 Years
Gallagher Law Group The Kahkwa Club 125 Years
Erie Art Museum
Miller Jewelers (Jan & Dan’s Jewelry Inc.) Siebenbuerger Club Walter Long Manufacturing Company Inc. YWCA of Northcentral PA 120 Years
Chemcoat Inc. Conneaut Lake Navigation Co. (The Navigation Co.) Erie County Historical Society (Hagan History Center) Pulakos Chocolates 115 Years
Happy 22 JANUARY 2023 •



Cable Hollow Golf Course

Ceriani Transport, Inc. (Ceriani Fuel & Coal)

Crawford Cnty. Drug & Alcohol Exec. Commission

Crescent Beer Distributor, Inc.

Crime Victim Center of Erie County, Inc.

D.E. Errick Corporation (D.E. Errick, Inc.)

Donlee Tool Corporation

Fenice Garage, Inc.

Howard Industries

Joseph Weinkle, CLU

Lectromat, Incorporated

Methodist Towers Inc.

M.R. Moody Sales and Service Inc.

NEDCO (N E Davis)

Northwest Bus Services

Pittsburgh North Regional Chamber


Refrigeration Care, Inc.

Sirkoch Associates

Starlite Diversified, Inc.

Venango Machine Company, Inc.

40 Years

Alpin Surgical Specialties Inc.

Career Concepts Staffing Services Inc.

Carrara Steel Inc.

Cerwin Construction Company

Changing Times Telephone LLC

Computer Support & Associates, Inc. (Computer Support)

CT Utility Service

Custom Design Monuments, Inc.

ECM Development Corp. (Acutran Transformers)

EmergyCare Inc.

EMMCO West, Inc.

G. O. Crivelli Automotive Inc.

Hanes Erie Inc.

Hensa Stmp Inc.

J. Beaston Inc. (Sunrise Landscape Service)

Kenneth C. Schmitt, D.D.S., P.C.

Martone & Peasley

Mercer County Rehab Supply Moody Corp.

Pennewell Sandblast & Painting

Romeo’s Tire Center

Ron Jones Hardwood Sales Inc.

Ronald G. Jalbert, PhD.

Sandy Lake Implement, Inc.

Spektra Manufacturing

Super Stitch Inc.

Syst-A-Matic Tool & Design, Inc.

Tandem Associates

ThomEl Enterprises Inc. (McDonald’s)

Thompson-Miller Funeral Home, Inc.

30 Years

Anchor Holding Group (Anchor Seals Inc.)

Battery Warehouse, Kittanning

Bucktail Excavators Inc.

Caflisch Pallet & Wood Services

Counterflow Inc.

Covers-All Canvas Products, Inc. D & E Machining Ltd.

Dr. Douglass Smith DMD

Ed’s Beans Inc. (Kiva Han Coffee)

Environmental Remediation & Recovery Inc.

Franklin Civic Operetta Association (Barrow-Civic Theatre)

H.E. Fox, Inc.

Infinity Resources Inc.

Intrac Systems, Inc.

ISPlus Erie, LLC

J. Krukar Construction Co. Inc.

Jacob A. Weaver Co.

Kriebel Minerals Inc.

Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Med.

Larkel Inc. (Once Upon a Child)

LGA Partners, L.P.

Lycoming Physical Therapy

Machining Concepts Inc.

Mark Comiskey Barber Styling

McCartney Feed and Hardware Inc.

McCracken Oil & Gas LLC

Petro Mold Company

Pilewski Plumbing Inc.

RefrAmerica LLC

Target Precision LLC

Tri-State Bakery Service

Troy-Alan Chevrolet-Olds, Inc.

Voices for Independence

Williams and Sons Services Inc.

25 Years

Anderson Plastics Inc.

Battery Warehouse, Grove City

Contract Cleaning Service and Supply

Crawford Co. Consumer Satisfaction Team

Custom Metal Coating

Dennis Piper & Associates, P. C.

Eastern Tool Steel Service, Inc.

Edinboro University Foundation

Family Pathways

Federal Resources Corporation Graham Tech Inc.

Life Force of Western PA, Inc. (Life Force Ambulance)

McKean Veterinary Hospital

Meadville Land Service Inc.

Meadville Obstetrics & Gynecology Assoc. (Meadville OB/GYN Associates)

Networking Technologies

R & S Machine Company

Robert Benjamin Wiley Community Charter School

Sasol Chemicals (USA) LLC

Simonian Electric Inc.

SinterFire, Inc.

Strategy Solutions Inc.

TLC Institute, Inc.

Warren’s Hometown Market (Warren Shurfine)

20 Years

A. Crivelli Ford, Inc.

AJE Testing and Research, Inc.

Barnhart Transportation

Bradford Family Medicine Inc.

Covington Investment Advisors, Inc.

Creekside Springs, LLC

Eberle Physical Therapy

Edmund Burke Inc. (Salem Hardwood, Inc.)

Ellwood National Forge Company

Eriez Technologies Inc.

Greater Erie Auto Auction

Kidder Architects

Litz Enterprises (‘JRs’ On-The-Bay/Sloppy Duck)

Optical Filters USA LLC

P/M National Inc.

Palermo Realty & Dev. Corp. (Palermo Realty)

Renee L. Peterson, O.D.

Star Iron Works Inc.

The Auto Washery Inc. (Ultimate Express Car Wash)

Venture Fasteners LLC

Vision Associates of Western PA Welding Technologies Inc.

10 Years

Allstreet Financial, LLC. (Evident Financial)

Anderson Site Services, LLC

Angelus Therapeutic Services Inc.

Cross Paving LLC

Generations Forestry Inc.

Great Lakes Cast Stone

Hoff Mechanical Inc.

Hooks E. I. Services, Inc.

Live from the Outdoors LLC (Stone Road Media)


Richard C. Blackford, PhD PC (Affiliated Counseling Services)

SafT Integration Consulting, LLC

Shearer’s Snacks

Steinlechner Business Consulting Weatherspoon & Williams LLC

Disclaimer: The milestone anniversary list is based on MBA member records from October 2022. If there is an omission or error, please contact the MBA at 814/833-3200 or 800/815-2660 to be included in future publications.
23 JANUARY 2023

Here’s to making every day in Northwest PA the best it can be.

With the extensive resources of a leading national bank delivered locally, PNC is proud to be part of Northwest PA’s past, present and future. Our Northwest PA teams will work closely with you to guide you through your unique challenges and provide you with customized financial solutions to help you achieve your goals.

To see how PNC can make a difference for you, visit us at

The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. All rights reserved. PNC Bank, National
Member FDIC CON PDF 0618-0106
24 JANUARY 2023 •

Potratz Floral Shop & Greenhouses in Erie provided the beautiful centerpieces. 

The Manufacturer & Business Association, in conjunction with the MBA Business Magazine, Penn State Behrend and PNC, hosted the annual Economic Outlook IMPACT Luncheon on December 8 at the MBA Conference Center in Erie. Thank you to major sponsor Barnhart Transportation and centerpiece sponsor Potratz Floral Shop & Greenhouses for their contributions to its success! The next IMPACT event is the Women in Leadership IMPACT Luncheon on March 23 featuring Mercyhurst University President Kathleen Getz, Ph.D. To register or for information about upcoming events, visit!

Jon Patsy (left) with Matt Zonno of Marquette Savings Bank was the winner of the event’s raffle prize, including an ERIE-opoly game and $150 worth of MBA gift certificates. 

Oluwaropo A. (Abbey) Omodunbi, assistant vice president and senior economist for The PNC Financial Services Group, addressed the state and national economic outlook.  Barnhart Transportation, headquartered in North East, Pennsylvania, was a major sponsor of the luncheon. The family owned company is celebrating its 20th year in business in 2023.  Ken Louie, Ph.D., director of the Economic Research Institute of Erie (ERIE) at Penn State Behrend, discussed the state of the Erie economy.  Dr. Omodunbi (third from left) was joined by members of the local PNC team at the luncheon, including Jim Stevenson, regional president for NWPA (second from left). 
25 JANUARY 2023
A sold-out crowd attended the IMPACT Luncheon held in the Founders Room at the MBA Conference Center in Erie. 

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Articles from Business Magazine - January 2023